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Tue Apr 3 2007 12:11:25

Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry

By: Ina Steiner

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Random notes on the eBay/online-auction industry.

I went to the ChannelAdvisor Catalyst meeting last month, where Amazon was the star of the show - they are using high-volume eBay sellers to drop-ship products, and at the show, Patrick Byrne announced a similar program for Overstock.

As Gotham City Online founder Jonathan Garriss pointed out during a phone call, these programs are good for generating revenue, but are not the solution to building a brand. Sellers must think about the issue of, "who owns the customer?" With drop-ship programs from Amazon.com and Overstock.com, sellers don't own the customer, the marketplace does.

eBay is focused on the buyer experience this year, and Feedback 2.0 and SMI are two big issues. Trust & Safety - including enforcement - remains another big issue for sellers.

The biggest challenge for all online sellers may be increasing postage rates. In the US, rates are going up in May, and they went up this month in the UK. It remains to be seen if buyers will be turned off by the total higher cost of online items. Seems likely to vary by category (media sellers will be hard-hit by the new rates).

I'm still waiting to hear from Amazon if and when they will adjust the postage reimbursement for sellers. They charge buyers the full shipping cost, and only forward on a portion to sellers (which is not made clear to the buyers).

We're conducting a survey on how sellers are preparing for the rate change, please take a moment to participate, we'll publish results in a future issue. There are some great comments on the blog post about this issue, keep them coming.





Comments (7) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry   Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry

by: Chairman

Wed Apr 4 00:08:18 2007

Canadian sellers have already had a postal increase recentky and our domestic and international shipping is far higher without flat shipping products or media rate.

Amazon.ca payments in some cases only pay small % of a heavy book thus there is no chance to compete with books that are often dollar books in the USA.

In Canada its beyond breaking point ,its broken

Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry   Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry

by: Chuck

Wed Apr 4 08:34:31 2007


I am so happy to FINALLY see someone with the same view I have!  I was literally baffled by everyone's enthusiasm with these programs.  I guess if you just want the sales and do not want a relationship with a customer then it is a great deal!

Chuck

Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry   Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry

by: Randy Smythe

Wed Apr 4 11:56:13 2007

The only way to truly make branding work for you is to have your own website. eBay is no different then Amazon or Overstock as far as the customer goes except you get 4 times the emails. eBay still considers the customer as their's not yours. You just have to do all the work.

Large sellers are trying to sell product not make friends. The cost of customer service on eBay is substantially higher than on these other marketplaces.

I had the most recognizable brand on eBay with GlacierBayDVD and we only had 20% return business after 4 years of hard work.

Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry   Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry

by: John Stack

Wed Apr 4 16:52:44 2007

Randy,

Building Brand awareness doesn't necessarily equate to repeat customers.  

Even though you had only about 20% repeat business, you have hundreds of thousands of customers from eBay who know and recognize the name 'Glacierbaydvd'.

In overstock's new program, none of your customers will ever see your name. THey will not let you brand the items or the packaging.

So, in that regard, you can build brand awareness and own the customer on eBay, but not Overstock or Amazon.

Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry   Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry

by: Chairman

Sat Apr 7 14:18:21 2007

If properly building brand awareness doesn't equate to repeat customers within the venue ,then you are in the wrong biz or something is wrong with the venue.

Being about as huge as one can be on eBay ,most of us could only dream to be a fraction of GlacierBaydvd.

I for one only knew of GlacierBaydvd from when it was gone , but I knew of several from Google and Yahoo search advertising.

Things get lost through the window of eBay , with the amount of hits GlacierDVD got on eBay , if that listing money was spent on advertising and marketing it would have been a household name.

eBay at least allows us to keep some of our brand ,within many limits , it can be an awesome extra as marketing tool but its sadly a lost effort compared to doing it yourself. I get more respect through search engines for a year then I have being on eBay since 1999

Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry   Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry

by: online auction

Sun May 6 01:23:30 2007

Online shopping certainly needs more security. That is why auction sites need to maintain to be the leaders in enhancing security. Auction sites just recently introduced the phone member verification with address match. It works!

Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry   Current Affairs: The eBay/Online-Auction Industry

by: Arun

Thu Feb 28 07:13:32 2008

A highly recommended site is elfingo.com for online auctions.  They are the new ebay.  Many smaller sites like this offer buyers far better deals than ebay ever could.  Buyers also save a ton because this site charges little or nothing depending on the day. One more reason I like elfingo.com is because they don't take a part of the sale at all.  No commissions or final value fees. A+++ http://www.elfingo.com



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